• Follow us


Tesla CEO Elon Musk Calls Out Panasonic on Twitter - MotorTrend

"Tesla and Panasonic need couples counseling ASAP," said Craig Irwin, an analyst at Roth Capital Partners. "This is looking like a much more acrimonious relationship."

Tesla shares fell 1.9 percent to $268.12 shortly after the open of regular trading Monday. The stock has slumped 19 percent this year.

Read more on Tesla Musk to hype autonomy before posting quarterly loss Evercore ISI analyst cuts rating on Tesla to sell Tesla, NIO investigating car fires in China Short seller is accused of menacing Tesla workers Board shakeup seen as important step for governance

Odd Couple

Tesla and Panasonic have been joined at the hip since the gigafactory agreement was first announced in July 2014, even if on paper they're a bit of an odd couple. One is a 16-year-old maker of electric vehicles run by an impetuous boss, the other a century-old conservative Japanese manufacturer.

Tesla manages the gigafactory but Panasonic is the principal partner, responsible for churning out cylindrical lithium-ion battery cells that Tesla buys and then packages into battery packs for the Model 3 sedan. The goal was to produce 35 gigawatt hours, or GWh, of cells per year by 2020, enough for roughly 400,000 Model 3s.

But two weeks ago, Osaka-based Panasonic shocked the investment community when the Nikkei newspaper reported that Tesla and Panasonic were freezing plans to expand capacity beyond the initial 35GWh amid concerns about Tesla's sales.

"Panasonic is a 101-year-old company," said Chris Redl, senior portfolio manager at Gordian Capital Japan. "It's extremely rare for a Japanese company to publicly air its grievances about a top customer via a story in the Nikkei."

View 3 Photos

Production Capacity

Musk said that Panasonic's cell lines have actually constrained Model 3 assembly because they are operating at just two-thirds capacity, or 24GWh.

Panasonic did not directly respond to that assertion. But it said in a statement this week that as of the end of March, the plant does have capacity for 35GWh. Both companies are in agreement that the gigafactory is far from running at full production. What's less clear is why and how they will proceed in the future.

"Tesla won't spend money on more capacity until existing lines get closer to 35GWh theoretical," Musk said in a tweet.

Third Party

Most analysts said they believe slow Tesla sales warranted capping battery-production lines. But another explanation offered up is that Panasonic is unhappy about a third party possibly messing up their marriage. While it is currently Tesla's only supplier of automotive-grade batteries, Tesla is building another factory in Shanghai and has talked with several Chinese-based suppliers, including CATL.

"Tesla is starting to flirt with other battery makers in China, and Panasonic doesn't like that," said Sam Jaffe, managing director of battery consulting firm Cairn ERA.

Tesla declined to comment beyond Musk's tweets. It has warned investors that it expects first quarter net income will be negatively impacted by lower-than-projected vehicle deliveries and multiple price cuts. Tesla is having an Autonomy Investor Day at its headquarters in Palo Alto, California, on Monday and will report earnings April 24.

View 3 Photos

Past Problems

This isn't the first time the two companies have struggled to match production lines. In a November interview with Bloomberg, Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga said that in 2017, Panasonic held back while Tesla worked through problems in its automation line. Then in 2018, as car output ramped up, it was Panasonic who lagged. Tsuga said the output on both sides was close to being evenly matched in early November, and two additional cell-production lines would be added.

The two companies are intertwined to a degree that any permanent split is likely out of the question, Roth Capital's Irwin said. Panasonic needs Tesla for the stability it brings to its battery business, he said, while "Tesla has nothing in batteries without Panasonic."

Still, the now-public rift shows how Panasonic may be worried about Tesla's future, said Kazunori Ito, an analyst at Morningstar Investment Services in Tokyo.

"With EV sales not growing as expected, Panasonic is increasingly unwilling to take risks," Ito said. "Where it used to be two companies sharing a common destiny, it's clear that Panasonic wants to distance itself from Tesla, and Tsuga is beginning to draw a line. Musk cannot be happy about that."

(Reporting by Dana Hull and Pavel Alpeyev, with assistance from Yuki Furukawa)

Read More

Leave A Comment

More News

All Motor Trend Stories RSS

Mustang, 911 GT3 Win IntelliChoice Best Overall Value 2019-05-24 04:00:49Mustang or Camaro? Z4 or Supra? 3 Series or C-Class? With tough competition in the sports car segment, consumers have plenty of options to choose from

17 Things to Know If You’re Planning to 2019-05-24 04:00:38If you’re an avid traveler, the idea of road-tripping in a foreign country has probably crossed your mind. It looks awesome, but is it really a

Celebrity Drive: Clint Robertson of HGTV’s “Boise Boys” 2019-05-24 04:00:35Quick Stats: Clint Robertson, star, HGTV’s “Boise Boys” Daily Driver: 2016 Toyota Tundra (Clint’s rating: 10 on a scale of 1 t

2018 Honda Civic Type R: Baby Got a 2019-05-24 04:00:08My driveway is steep. Over the past couple of months, I started noticing the CTR’s traction control light blinking when I drove up it. I also no

9 Tips for Getting a Great Car Deal 2019-05-24 04:00:00As we’ve shown you throughout the week, there are plenty of great car deals this Memorial Day weekend. And you may want to check out these offer

2019 Porsche 911 Speedster: 4 Things You Get, 2019-05-23 17:23:43Pure driving enjoyment is why the Porsche 911 Speedster exists. It’s a soft-topped swan song for the 991-generation 911; a celebration of the so

10 Reasons Why the Aston Martin AM-RB 003 2019-05-23 17:08:14If you paid any attention to the Geneva Motor Show this year, you probably noticed a trend. Sure, there were a few crossovers, and Volkswagen showed o

The Best Road Trips Your Tesla Can’t Take 2019-05-23 04:00:50Recently, Tesla unveiled a reworked Model S that promised to travel from San Francisco to Los Angeles on a single charge, an unprecedented 365 miles i

How Cruising in a 2019 Chevrolet Blazer in 2019-05-23 04:00:39Somewhere between Detroit and Dearborn, cruising the potholed I-94 freeway, I saw frantic arms and big smiles coming from a late-model Chrysler 300 in

The Quickest Toyota Supras We’ve Ever Tested 2019-05-23 04:00:27There’s no argument that the new 2020 Toyota Supra is quick. Powered by a 335-hp turbocharged inline-six that’s, ahem, shared with another

Threat or Promise? E-Auto Boom Could Cost Industry 2019-05-22 12:29:28Over 115 years the auto industry in the east German town of Zwickau has lived through wrenching upheavals including World War II and the collapse of c

2020 BMW X7 M50i First Look: Now With 2019-05-22 10:00:17Like the 7 Series, the new BMW X7 is big. Certainly too big to ever get the full M treatment. But even though it outperformed most of its competitors


How Red Bull's Aerobatic Helicopter Flies Wild Stunts New! 2019-05-25 08:00:00For a stomach-twisting performance above Manhattan, Red Bull brought in an elite pilot and an unusual sort of helicopter.

Hiking or Camping? Take the Bus to the 2019-05-24 07:00:00Transit agencies and nonprofits are teaming up to expand access to parks and recreation areas.

Self-Driving Startup Aurora Buys Speed-Sensing Lidar Company 2019-05-23 15:00:00Aurora is buying Blackmore, whose “Doppler lidar” system can determine how far away an object it, and its speed.

VW’s ‘Dieselgate’ Settlement Isn’t Buying Many Electric Vehicles 2019-05-23 07:00:00States were given almost $3 billion from Volkswagen’s diesel scandal settlement to buy cleaner vehicles. But many are buying more diesels, a rep

Las Vegas Orders Up a Boring Company Loop 2019-05-22 20:26:06Which means Elon Musk’s “mass transit” tunneling company has its first official customer.

The USPS Tests Out Self-Driving Trucks for Hauling 2019-05-21 06:00:00In a two-week test, startup TuSimple will transport mail for the US Postal Service between Phoenix and Dallas.

GM's Big Upgrade, ‘Game of Thrones’' Unsatisfying End, 2019-05-20 19:50:47Catch up on the most important news from today in two minutes or less.

GM Gives All Its Vehicles a New Soul 2019-05-20 10:30:00GM's new "electronic platform" offers five times the bandwidth and compute power of its predecessor, to deliver better maps and new accessories.

Want to Bike Cross-Country? Some Old Rails Could 2019-05-19 07:00:00The Rails to Trails Conservancy is trying to assemble a 3,700-mile route that crosses 12 states. It needs help in Wyoming.

Another Fatal Tesla Autopilot Crash and More Car 2019-05-19 07:00:00The NTSB said a Tesla Model 3 had its Autopilot engaged when it collided with a truck in Florida in March, killing the driver.

Building a Bus Map When There Are No 2019-05-18 07:00:00Citizen groups in Beirut, Nairobi, Cairo and other cities are crowdsourcing maps of informal bus networks to encourage transit use.

A Fatal Tesla Autopilot Crash, Rising Methane Levels, 2019-05-16 18:33:42Catch up on the most important news today in two minutes or less.

Automotive news - from

Ford's robotic solution for driverless delivery 2019-05-23 05:26:00Ford is teaming up with Agility Robotics to explore a robotic solution for future autonomous vehicle goods deliveries.

Yanfeng Automotive Interiors and Prisma Renewable Composites collaborate 2019-05-22 12:44:00An automotive interiors specialist is to collaborate with a materials supplier to replace the use of petrochemicals with natural polymers.

Kia prepares for India launch later this year 2019-05-22 11:40:00Kia Motors is currently making final preparations for its launch later this year in India, a country with a domestic vehicle market of over 4.3m units

New Cadillac introduces GM electronic platform 2019-05-22 10:07:00General Motors has launched the new electronic platform it said was necessary for its next generation of vehicles, EVs, active safety, infotainment an

Toyota Australia will use autonomous vehicles in new 2019-05-22 08:53:00Toyota Australia together with Toyota Material Handling Australia and Toyota Fleet Management will be introducing a fleet of autonomous autopilot vehi

Study finds EVs appeal to only half of 2019-05-22 06:55:00A new study has found that only half of British car buyers would choose an electrified car.

Leoni appoints new chief financial officer 2019-05-22 06:48:00Leoni has appointed Ingrid Jägering as CFO, joining the board alongside CEO, Aldo Kamper, Bruno Fankhauser and Martin Stü

Koito and Blickfeld to research Lidar integrated headlamps 2019-05-22 06:47:00Koito and Blickfeld are to explore technologies for the development of Lidar which can be fully integrated into headlamps.

Gillig and Cummins unveil electric bus 2019-05-22 06:45:00Gillig says its zero-emission battery electric bus, powered by Cummins, is now available.

Foresight completes QuadSight trials for French OEMs and 2019-05-22 06:44:00Foresight Autonomous has completed a series of demonstrations of its QuadSight vision system in France for four unnamed vehicle manufacturers&nbs

Daimler stresses need for cost control 2019-05-22 06:43:00Daimler has reaffirmed its financial targets for this year and stressed the need for cost management at its annual shareholders' meeting in Berlin to

Constellium supplies PSA bonnet aluminium 2019-05-22 06:42:00Constellium is to supply aluminium auto body sheet for the bonnet of PSA's Peugeot Partner and Citroen Berlingo Van.

High Gear Media Network Feed

Acura files trademark for Legend, suggesting beloved nameplate 2019-05-24 13:00:00The Acura Legend helped put the Japanese luxury brand on the map in the U.S. starting in 1985. Although the Legend departed us a decade later, it appe

Audi Q3 Sportback debuting in July won't reach 2019-05-24 11:45:00Audi is preparing a sleeker, more coupe-like version of its Q3 compact crossover SUV, which was just redesigned for 2019. Previously thought to be cal

Audi TT dead, rare Shelbys sold, Civic Type 2019-05-24 11:00:00It's official. The Audi TT is on its way out, to be replaced by a performance-oriented electric car positioned at a similar price point. According to

2019 Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix preview 2019-05-24 10:00:00Round six of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship takes us to the south of France for the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix. The race is the most famous

Lift kit turns Honda Civic Type R into 2019-05-24 08:45:00The Honda Civic Type R is usually the type of car you'd see slammed and sitting on low-profile rubber. However, Ralph Hosier Engineering (RHEL) has t

Original Shelby Cobras, including a 427 S/C Roadster, 2019-05-24 07:30:00An amazing collection that included no less than four highly original Shelby Cobras headed to auction in May, fetching some seriously big bucks. The c

Audi mulls turning A8 into dedicated EV 2019-05-24 06:00:00Audi is considering turning its A8 flagship sedan into a dedicated EV around the middle of the next decade, when a redesigned model is due. New CEO Br

Opel's first car post GM is the 2020 2019-05-24 03:00:00Germany's Opel on Thursday unveiled a redesigned Corsa, its first car developed entirely post the brand's sale by General Motors to France's PSA Gr

Rolls-Royce Wraith Eagle VIII recalls a 20th-century milestone 2019-05-23 18:00:00In 1919, the world's first non-stop trans-Atlantic flight happened, and Rolls-Royce engines provided the power to make it happen. Marking the 100th a

Audi says extra-luxurious A8 model coming 2019-05-23 17:00:00Although the A8 is Audi's range-topping sedan today, there's an even more luxurious version on the way. The German luxury brand confirmed Thursday a

Modified 2013 Ford Mustang GT "Need For Speed" 2019-05-23 16:00:00Those in the market to film their own car chases may want to take a close look at this modified 2013 Ford Mustang GT. Not only has the pony car underg

Audi TT is dead, electric successor inbound 2019-05-23 15:00:00After 20 years, the Audi TT will leave us. The brand's chairman Bram Schot confirmed the TT's demise Thursday. However, he revealed Audi already has

The Truth About Cars

Bumper Cars: Best Bumper Guards For Your Ride 2019-05-23 13:40:16Protect your bumpers from bumps and bruises. The post Bumper Cars: Best Bumper Guards For Your Ride appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

Rare Rides: The Extremely Sporty Yugo GVX From 2019-05-23 12:58:07Everyone’s heard of Yugo — the Yugoslavian brand that tried to shift cheap cars on North American shores in the late Eighties and early Ni

I Did What All Fathers of Young Children 2019-05-23 11:46:53A lot of life changes occurred in conjunction with the sale of my old website, GoodCarBadCar. We also sold the family home in Nova Scotia, moved to ru

TT Is Toast: Audi’s Smallest Model Has a 2019-05-23 11:16:47It’s the end of an era. Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz announced the death of the SLC (formerly SLK) roadster, and today Audi announced it wil

Separation Agreement: Mitsubishi’s Delayed Crossover Plan Grows Clearer 2019-05-23 10:09:20Mitsubishi is sticking to its original plan to put some size distance between its three crossover models, but don’t worry — there’s

QOTD: What Styling Quirk Gets Under Your Skin? 2019-05-23 08:36:17The other day, we talked up the things that annoy us about the cars we own; today, we delve into minor annoyances seen only in a few fleeting seconds.

Ford Is ‘Exploring’ Robots… 2019-05-22 16:50:36This outlet has frequently made light of Ford’s more imaginative mobility projects, but they’ve spanned the gamut in terms of functionalit

Thumbs Down: China’s GAC Motor Throws U.S. Push 2019-05-22 15:43:56Guangzhou Automobile Group, better known as GAC Motor, has delayed plans to commence sales of Chinese-branded cars in the United States. Apparent

Consumer Reports Slams Tesla’s Navigate on Autopilot Update, 2019-05-22 14:48:34In this writer’s opinion, one of the greatest things to happen to high-speed motoring is the blind spot monitoring system. Try as we might to re

More Non-four-cylinder Choice: 2020 Chevrolet Silverado Expands V8 2019-05-22 13:46:09The pickup market certainly is cutthroat. Fortunately, that fierce competition seems to work out rather well for the consumer. Less than a year after

Rare Rides: The Gran Turismo Dream – a 2019-05-22 13:06:59Today’s Rare Ride is a sporting luxury coupe with a complex rotary engine. It’s a car which was destined for America, but never quite made

Duramax Deferral: Emissions Delay Punts Straight-six GM Diesel 2019-05-22 12:21:57General Motors’ new Flint-built, light-duty 3.0-liter inline-six turbo-diesel won’t be a late-year addition to the company’s full-si

Automotive News Breaking

BMW joins electric scooter market 2019-05-24 11:36:06BMW has joined Volkswagen in launching an electric scooter. The 799-euro ($890) scooter is similar to those offered by sharing services Bird Rides and

Daimler's new CEO touts green strategy 2019-05-24 09:29:06Daimler's new boss Ola Källenius posted a brief internal audio message via social media in which he called on employees to support a new st

VW will focus on early adopters for first 2019-05-24 06:54:54VW's long lead time for the ID3 will be used to learn from customers why they want to buy the car and how VW can improve its marketing to prepare the

Nissan looks for ways to use long-lasting EV 2019-05-24 06:49:07Nissan is testing ways to use EV batteries outside of the car. The automaker's data shows that the batteries used by its Leaf will outlast the car by

Former Opel CEO Neumann joins board of U.S. 2019-05-24 06:38:30Former Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann has joined the board of California-based Apex.AI, which is working to make open-source self-driving software reli

BMW pays homage to outgoing Daimler CEO Zetsche 2019-05-24 06:35:12BMW paid tribute to outgoing Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche in a light-hearted video that ends with a Zetsche lookalike driving off in a BMW i8 sports car

Premium automakers can’t afford the luxury of current 2019-05-24 06:27:55Sales of premium cars probably have peaked globally, threatening the business model of Germany’s luxury automakers, said Philippe Houchois, mana

Nissan's credit rating downgraded by Moody's over weak 2019-05-24 06:12:27While Nissan's new business strategy focuses on margin over unit sales growth and refreshing old models to improve its brand value, the ratings agenc

Aurora Innovation to acquire lidar company Blackmore 2019-05-23 16:00:28Self-driving systems company Aurora Innovation is placing a big bet on a lidar company that has taken an unconventional approach to developing its tec

Chevy dealership in Mo. pummeled by 'direct hit' 2019-05-23 15:37:11Images from Riley Chevrolet in Jefferson City, Mo., showed damage to its dealership building and vehicles stacked on top of each other like Matchbox c

Musk counters Tesla delivery doubts with upbeat internal 2019-05-23 12:35:41CEO Elon Musk wrote, in a leaked e-mail to staff, that Tesla has a “good chance” in the second quarter of exceeding the record 90,700 deli

Audi kills TT as it bids to emerge 2019-05-23 09:37:27When it launched in 1998, the two-seat Audi TT won numerous fans but more importantly, it established Audi as a design leader. This helped differentia

autoevolution news

2020 Opel Corsa GSi Rendering Looks Cool, Won't 2019-05-24 13:31:30Where daddy Peugeot leads, Opel now follows. But both companies would like to offer something super-exciting using their new platforms. It's just tha

Tesla on Track for Best Quarter Ever, Musk 2019-05-24 11:46:17Most of us have nearly forgotten the Model 3 production hiccups that nearly brought Tesla to its knees at the beginning of 2018. We forgot because the

Lamborghini Restores Azzurro Mexico Miura P400S, Car on 2019-05-24 10:53:17Over the past few months, we’ve seen a resurgence of public interest for Lamborghini’s iconic, and now dead, Miura nameplate. Be it in the

Civic Type OveRland Isn’t Your Average Honda Hot 2019-05-24 10:24:40Ever wanted a bit more ground clearance from the Type R? How about a four-inch lift kit, Rally Raid influences, and 255/55 BF Goodrich all-terrain tir

60 Starlink Satellites Are Now in Orbit Ready 2019-05-24 09:50:15Following a series of delays that pushed the Starlink mission launch for more than a week, the SpaceX Falcon 9 finally took off carrying the satellite

BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe Exposed, Debut Imminent 2019-05-24 09:28:54The BMW M8 is the latest performance machine to be revealed via unofficial channels, with the M8 Gran Coupe Competition having now been spotted in pro

Several Cows Placed in Police Custody for Loitering 2019-05-24 09:04:29In rural Indiana, not even police work is what you might think and car washes are an adventure in and of itself. Just this week, deputies were called

BMW Ending WEC Program At the 2019 Le 2019-05-24 09:03:01In a rather shocking turn of events, BMW head of motorsport Jens Marquardt confirmed that endurance racing isn’t their thing. “We will not

2020 Alpine A110 Sport Spied With Front Spoiler 2019-05-24 08:59:00Inspired by the rally-bred berlinette from the 1960s and 1970s, the Alpine A110 is an excellent alternative to the Porsche 718 Boxster. But neverthele

BMW’s Own E-Scooter to Launch this Fall 2019-05-24 08:47:04As the race to provide the best last mile solution for motorists intensifies, more and more mainstream carmakers are trying to wrestle their way into

Walmart Cashier Gets Free Car After Walking 6 2019-05-24 08:44:05Anita Singleton, a 52-year-old woman from Slidell, Louisiana, works as a cashier at a local Walmart. She loves her job so much that, for the past thre

New Jersey Man Drives Chevy Camaro into Friend’s 2019-05-24 08:21:43That’s one way of making sure you’re disinvited from all future social appointments with someone you don’t like: just drive your con

Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.